November 3, 2014 What we think about our appearance, and smile, can affect our self-esteem, moods, attitudes, and even how we function in social and business relationships. It’s no surprise that a solution to correct flaws and malformations in a person’s teeth is the number one procedure in cosmetic dentistry today. Nearly half of individuals surveyed said a smile can defy aging’s effects. A Smile to Hide Your Age If you are like the majority of Americans who believe that a dazzling smile is your most important feature, dental veneers are a highly successful option to restore your teeth and look younger in a short period of time. Dental veneers are made from thin-layered sheaths of porcelain then bonded to the natural tooth. Porcelain veneers completely cover the front of your teeth, and their purpose is typically to correct imperfections like stains or broken or chipped teeth. As dental veneers have gained popularity, so has the importance of ensuring they look natural. Our Elite Veneers ceramists apply a number of porcelains to each tooth, which creates a subtle, translucent quality, allowing light to reflect just as it would off a natural tooth. This process results in a look so natural, it’s nearly impossible to tell they are restorations. Porcelain veneers replicate the strength and resilience of natural tooth enamel, but unlike natural teeth, they will not discolor or fade. Am I a candidate for porcelain veneers? Dental veneers are an excellent choice for patients who want to correct: Discolored or stained teeth, particularly those for which teeth whitening has not been successful Chipped, broken or worn down teeth Crooked, uneven, misaligned or irregularly shaped teeth Gaps between teeth When helping a patient decide if porcelain veneers are the right choice, we also take into consideration a patient’s bite, oral habits, the available space in the mouth, the health of the gum tissue and the severity of the problem the patient wants to address. How long will it take to complete the process? The porcelain veneer process typically takes a total of three appointment, with the first being a thorough consultation to ensure dental veneers are right for you. Our digital imaging program will give you a preview of what your smile will look like with your custom veneers, made in the shape, color and style that will look most natural on you. At your second appointment, we will take impressions of your teeth and prepare them to be fitted with dental veneers. To apply a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel, usually less than a millimeter, must be removed to allow room for the porcelain veneer to fit in the mouth and most accurately restore natural tooth function. Your natural teeth still remain largely intact – especially as compared to a procedure like dental crowns. Then, we’ll place a set of temporary dental veneers while your final, permanent set are being crafted to fit your smile at our specialty lab. The temporary veneers will help prevent teeth sensitivity and will be comfortable and natural looking until your permanent set is in place. In the final visit, we remove the temporary dental veneers and place the permanent ones, ensuring they fit and look just right. Then, the dental veneers are permanently bonded to the teeth. Follow up appointments can be made for any adjustments that might be needed. For years, I was concerned with the pale yellow dullness of my teeth. Finally, I approached Dr. Caffaratti stating I am ready for a healthy smile and I want veneers. After first doing lots of measurements and impressions I returned three weeks later and had the permanent veneers placed. Oh my, they are beautiful! I was elated when I looked in the mirror and I could not believe that Dr. Caffaratti could change my smile to what it is today! I am extremely happy with Dr. Caffaratti’s work. – Holly C How long will my porcelain veneers last? Porcelain veneers typically last between seven and 20 years. Occasionally, dental veneers chip or come off, but they can be repaired or replaced. How do I care for my new porcelain veneers? Dental veneers are such a great choice because you care for them just as you would your natural teeth. Continue to brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist at least every six months for care and maintenance. A non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste is recommended. If you grind or clench your teeth while sleeping, you will want to consider a mouth guard to ensure the longevity of your dental veneers. You’ll also want to avoid any extreme stresses, like biting your fingernails or chewing ice, just as you would with your natural teeth. If you are self-conscious about your smile, call Caffaratti Dental Group today at 775-358-1555 to set up a consultation to see if porcelain veneers are right for you. We can’t wait to enhance your smile!